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smac97

Jod as Evidence of Brigham Young's Racism

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17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

William Douglas has posted a candid, thoughtful and lengthy article: Brigham Young, Racism, and Slavery

It's worth a read.  A main feature of the article is the questionable reliability of the JoD relative to the sentiments held by Brigham Young about racism.  He first sets the stage to contextualize the scope of Brigham Young's under-appreciated accomplishments in the annals of American history:

Douglas itemizes Young's extensive influence in the settlement of the American West, including colonization efforts, the transcontinental railroad and telegraph, etc.  Then, with this context in mind, he addresses the elephant in the room:

Douglas does not dispute that Brigham Young, as with pretty much all 19th-century Americans, harbored racist sentiments.  But he (Douglas) presents some information that complicates the picture quite a bit:

 (Emphases added)

Read the whole thing.

Thoughts?

-Smac

Over the years, the Church has never fully embraced JOD as authorItative. It now seems more than ever that it’s a good thing they haven’t. 

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33 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Quoting Douglas: 

"Watt made much of it up completely, by himself. Note, that I do not mean he made common scribal errors which could cause the addition or subtraction of an important word, here or there. I mean that Watt apparently recorded the original speeches as faithfully as he could and then, when getting them ready for publishing, drastically and intentionally altered them. "

So now the question in my mind is, was George D. Watt more of a racist than Brigham Young?

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I wish LaJean was here to address this topic.

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That would be cool. 

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Posted (edited)

I am sure if I leave enough writings on my life, I will be called a racist 50 years from now.  Better to leave as little information about me as possible when I die.  Perhaps I have been right not to have written a  journal leaving no chance my posterity will ever misinterpret my views.  My question is not whether Brigham Young was a racist by 2020 standards. Clearly he can be classified as such today but so what. Simply wearing a Redskins jersey might make one a racist today.   Was his views out of bounds in the time he lived in?  Did the Saints in the 19th century consider him a racist?

Edited by carbon dioxide
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Posted (edited)

I realize that racism is the golden calf of today's social activists, but in the scheme of things I do not get excited about it. In fact, the moment someone begins to talk about racism I pretty much turn the volume down and only half listen at best.

If we are going to address sins, then talk about murder, greed, blasphemy, working against God's plan for his children, thievery, adultery, fornication, lying, hate, and a number of others.  Being a racist can be found within this old list of sins, but doesn't come with all the social baggage of today. More importantly, it makes it clear that all humans have sinned. Instead of pointing at the sins of the "other fellow", we readily see our own shortcomings.

Judge an individual in total instead of a single issue.

Edited by Storm Rider
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I view Brigham Young sort of the same way as the founders of the country.  Some owned slaves.  Some considered racists and viewed with contempt by some today.   I overlook their faults and look at what they accomplished.  They gave us a beautiful Constitution and Bill of Rights.   Our lives today would be quite different without their works.  Many people in their day did not own slaves but what did they leave behind for us?  Nothing.  They are forgotten in history.  I find it interesting that people can bash the founders on TV not recognizing that if it was not for the founders, they would not have a first amendment to be able to bash them on TV.  While they bash them, they actually elevate them.

Brigham Young left his imprint on the Church for good and for bad.  However we are where we are now and good works of Young still remain today.  Not many of Brigham Youngs critics  will be able to say that after they die.  Their works will be largely forgotten as well. 

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12 hours ago, smac97 said:

Thoughts?

Thank you for reminding me why I love history. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Nevo said:

Interesting thoughts.  It seems like the difference between your position and that held by William Douglas is one of degree, rather than kind.

As is often the case when considering historical controversies, I am reminded of the inspired counsel of Moroni.  He was given particular revelations to see the future.  Including, I believe, our day.  "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing."  (Mormon 8:35)  And one of his key exhortations is in the following chapter: "Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."  (Mormon 9:31)

We should neither condemn, nor ignore, the mistakes of those who came before.  We should, instead, learn from such mistakes, strive to avoid repeating them, and give thanks to God that we have such an opportunity.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Eschew judginess. Sound policy.

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14 hours ago, smac97 said:

William Douglas has posted a candid, thoughtful and lengthy article: Brigham Young, Racism, and Slavery

It's worth a read.  A main feature of the article is the questionable reliability of the JoD relative to the sentiments held by Brigham Young about racism.  He first sets the stage to contextualize the scope of Brigham Young's under-appreciated accomplishments in the annals of American history:

Douglas itemizes Young's extensive influence in the settlement of the American West, including colonization efforts, the transcontinental railroad and telegraph, etc.  Then, with this context in mind, he addresses the elephant in the room:

Douglas does not dispute that Brigham Young, as with pretty much all 19th-century Americans, harbored racist sentiments.  But he (Douglas) presents some information that complicates the picture quite a bit:

 (Emphases added)

Read the whole thing.

Thoughts?

-Smac

If "Hamilton" is evidence of Lin-Manuel Miranda's racism, I suppose the JOD could be evidence of Brigham Young's.

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Posted (edited)

I wish LaJean was here to address this topic.

The writings of W. Paul Reeve and others (The Color of Religion, etc.) clearly reveals racism among the LDS people in Utah, which was for so long a common fact among white Americans down through the generations.

Edited by JamesBYoung

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

If "Hamilton" is evidence of Lin-Manuel Miranda's racism, I suppose the JOD could be evidence of Brigham Young's.

👏👏👏

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2 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

I wish LaJean was here to address this topic.

The writings of W. Paul Reeve and others (The Color of Religion, etc.) clearly reveals racism among the LDS people in Utah, which was for so long a common fact among white Americans down through the generations.

In fact, has been a common fact among all peoples of the earth. Not a single race is immune. 

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So true, which makes it no less excusable today.

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Brigham Young, John Taylor, and other racists should not be 'canceled,' and of course their infirmity should not be ignored or erased.

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3 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

So true, which makes it no less excusable today.

The dead are excused from our standards by virtue of their current condition. Let's look to the future as the Church has been doing since 1978.

The dead are taught in the spirit world, as we can anticipate to be. I say let's keep and erect statues in honor of those things associated with them that founded the future they have given the Church to look forward to.

Same for the guys on Mount Rushmore and the heroes of the American Revolution. And similar accomplishments -- as long as they won a war or something. :)

I do feel for those who inherited a sense of belonging or heritage from their ancestors being on the loosing side, but it would be good for them to look to the future as well. I'm speaking of the Lamanites, of course, whose descendants have promises yet to be fulfilled. But perhaps they are a pattern for the American Confederates, who are just as gentile as the Union. Everyone needs to look to the future our Constitution affords us.

Wow I'm going to run for office.

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Posted (edited)

The dead are never excused by their or our standards.  Place statues and other memorabilia in appropriate settings for curation and education of coming generations.

We do need to be aware of presentism, yes, but that does not excuse the Holocaust or MMM or the Canaanite genocide of being horrific violations of moral standards.

I love your statement about the future for us that we find in the Constitution.

Edited by JamesBYoung

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26 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

The dead are never excused by their or our standards.  Place statues and other memorabilia in appropriate settings for curation and education of coming generations.

We do need to be aware of presentism, yes, but that does not excuse the Holocaust or MMM or the Canaanite genocide of being horrific violations of moral standards.

I love your statement about the future for us that we find in the Constitution.

In 1 Nephi 17, the prophet Nephi testifies that the inhabitants of the land of Canaan had totally rejected the warnings of the prophets until, like the the doomed residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, they had become fully ripened in iniquity, no longer deserving to dwell in the promised land. Just as multitudes of desperately wicked Nephites were slain in their cities at the time of Christ’s crucifixion and death, the Almighty decreed in his wrath that the inhabitants of the land of Canaan also had to die because they had ripened in ungodliness until remaining alive would only worsen their lot. Only in the case of Canaan the Lord used human beings as the agents of his destruction rather than natural disasters. Equating the divinely decreed destruction of the evil inhabitants of Canaan with the innocents murdered in the Holocaust is a slander of the Lord.

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40 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

The dead are never excused by their or our standards.  Place statues and other memorabilia in appropriate settings for curation and education of coming generations.

We do need to be aware of presentism, yes, but that does not excuse the Holocaust or MMM or the Canaanite genocide of being horrific violations of moral standards.

I love your statement about the future for us that we find in the Constitution.

I'm saying that we cannot judge the dead, and so we move on without either fixating on them, forgetting them or cancelling them out. There is a place for educating the generations in what is honorable (and true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and right) as well, so they can view and remember atrocities in their proper light without getting stuck in the counter-productive hating of the perpetrators and their descendants, any more than getting stuck in the lie that all our heroes are in the past.

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22 hours ago, smac97 said:

Watt made much of it up completely, by himself. Note, that I do not mean he made common scribal errors which could cause the addition or subtraction of an important word, here or there. I mean that Watt apparently recorded the original speeches as faithfully as he could and then, when getting them ready for publishing, drastically and intentionally altered them. 

Why?

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1 hour ago, teddyaware said:

In 1 Nephi 17, the prophet Nephi testifies that the inhabitants of the land of Canaan had totally rejected the warnings of the prophets until, like the the doomed residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, they had become fully ripened in iniquity, no longer deserving to dwell in the promised land. Just as multitudes of desperately wicked Nephites were slain in their cities at the time of Christ’s crucifixion and death, the Almighty decreed in his wrath that the inhabitants of the land of Canaan also had to die because they had ripened in ungodliness until remaining alive would only worsen their lot. Only in the case of Canaan the Lord used human beings as the agents of his destruction rather than natural disasters. Equating the divinely decreed destruction of the evil inhabitants of Canaan with the innocents murdered in the Holocaust is a slander of the Lord.

In your opinion, I guess.

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